Harley-Davidson Invests in Electric Bike Maker Alta Motors


Harley-Davidson Project LiveWire
Harley-Davidson dipped its toe in the electric motorcycle waters in 2014 with its Project LiveWire prototype (above). A production version is planned for 2019, and Alta Motors will help bring it to fruition.

Harley-Davidson announced today that it has made an equity investment in Alta Motors, a manufacturer of lightweight electric motorcycles, and that the two companies will collaborate on electric motorcycle technology and new product development.

“Earlier this year, as part of our 10-year strategy, we reiterated our commitment to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders, in part, by aggressively investing in electric vehicle (EV) technology,” said Harley-Davidson President and CEO Matt Levatich. “Alta has demonstrated innovation and expertise in EV and their objectives align closely with ours. We each have strengths and capabilities that will be mutually beneficial as we work together to develop cutting-edge electric motorcycles.”

Harley-Davidson has already announced the planned launch of its first electric motorcycle, informed by Project LiveWire. That motorcycle is on track for release in 2019.

Read our 2014 Harley-Davidson Project LiveWire first ride review

Since its inception, Alta Motors has designed and commercialized the world’s most advanced electric motorcycles, enabling everyone from pro riders to new riders to experience “the future of fast.”

Alta Motors Redshift MXR
Alta Motors’ all-electric Redshift MXR motocross bike makes a claimed 50 horsepower.

“Riders are just beginning to understand the combined benefits of EV today, and our technology continues to progress,” said Alta Motors Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder, Marc Fenigstein. “We believe electric motorcycles are the future, and that American companies have an opportunity to lead that future. It’s incredibly exciting that Harley-Davidson, synonymous with motorcycle leadership, shares that vision and we’re thrilled to collaborate with them.”

As electric-drive innovation brings new levels of ease, accessibility and control, Harley-Davidson and Alta Motors aim to attract new audiences who are inspired by motorcycles and drawn to the “twist-and-go” ease and exhilaration of an electric motorcycle with no gears or clutch.

“We believe that EV is where global mobility is headed and holds great appeal for existing riders as well as opportunity to bring new riders into the sport,” said Levatich. “We intend to be the world leader in the electrification of motorcycles and, at the same time, remain true to our gas and oil roots by continuing to produce a broad portfolio of motorcycles that appeal to all types of riders around the world.”

About Alta Motors
Alta Motors is a designer and manufacturer of electric motorcycles and lightweight EV drivetrains with a proprietary technology platform that offers new levels of energy density and performance. It offers a complete portfolio of battery and drivetrain components, a fleet of motorcycles manufactured at its Brisbane, California, facility and a trophy-case of podium finishes. Alta’s award-winning Redshift platform is now available to riders at 44 U.S. dealerships across 19 states. For more information, visit altamotors.co.


  1. Oh goody – no gears, no clutch, no noise = no Harley customers. I recognize that Harley needs to cultivate a new generation of “Baby Bikers” but I think I speak for those of us with gray beards when I offer a respectful, “No Thanks”.

    2003 Ultra Classic – 100 year Anniversary – not to be confused with 105 – 110 – 111 – well, you get the point.

    • Think of it, a new Harley Davidson dirt bike. Back in the 1970’s they rebadged Italian dirt bikes. One of the brands they used for a Harley enduro was a Benelli. They also were into the snowmobile thing back in the early-mid 70’s, first with AMF and then by themselves. Funny, even their snowmobiles were known to be loader than most anything else.

  2. I’m not a Harley owner and probably at this late date never will be but I understand what they’re trying to do. Harley has been struggling, as has every one else, to get their footing back after the ‘Great Recession’ of 2008. Bike sales are down substantially for just about every manufacturer and they’re all trying to field new more ownable and rideable new bikes that might appeal to younger buyers who are perhaps more attuned to the new technologies such as electric power. If they can achieve a reliable electric bike with a 300 mile range that can be recharged in a reasonable period of time I can see urban riders where parking is scarce, fuel is expensive, and noise is something they’d like to get away from. They make a lot of sense in city environments where absolute range isn’t as important as maneuverability, lighter weight, and easy handling would be primary.

  3. Actually, you don’t speak for all grey beards. I have nerve damage to my left hand that severely limits clutch use. I bought a 650 Burgman scooter with twist and go and loved it.I ama true HD fan and can ride my Switchback, but the no clutch thing is real and good.

  4. Lets hope that Alta doesn’t allow HD to gain controlling interest so that they can run them into the ground like Buell.

  5. I rode the HD Project Liverwire bike and liked it other than the limited range. What has prevented me from purchasing an electric bike is the lack of dealer support in most parts of the county which won’t be an issue with HD.

  6. Have driven a Harley for over 55 years and enjoyed every mile! There comes a time when the future techies prevail! It is time for Harley to see the future for what it is! Whether it be electric, solar, or what ever! This is a step to the future of motorcycling. I will be happy to be one of the first buyer and continue the Harley legacy! Good Luck!!


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